Contact lenses are a popular option for people who need vision correction. They are ideal for people with nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. But if you have dry eyes, wearing contacts can be problematic.
Fortunately, some lenses can work for you if you have dry eye syndrome. Regular contact lenses are not for everyone, but other options are available for patients with special needs.
Dry eye syndrome can be due to several factors, including:
The natural aging process
Gender. Women are more prone to develop dry eyes than men
Medical conditions like diabetes, arthritis, thyroid, and eye inflammation (blepharitis)
Certain medications, including decongestants, antihistamines, and antidepressants
Environmental elements such as wind, smoke, and dry climate
Prolonged use of digital devices
Long-term use of contact lenses
If you have chronic eye dryness, contact lenses can exacerbate the problem. Treating the underlying cause can help relieve the symptoms.
Dry eye is a condition where individuals suffer from chronic eye dryness. It occurs as the eyes fail to produce enough or good-quality tears. The condition causes symptoms, including:
Burning and stinging sensation
Redness and irritation
If you experience eye dryness, wearing regular contact lenses can be uncomfortable. Fortunately, you can find lenses that are right for you. Lenses are available in hard and soft materials. Wearing soft silicone-hydrogel lenses can reduce the rate of evaporation, making them ideal for dry eyes. The lenses can be daily disposables, biweekly, or monthly. Daily wear lenses reduce the issues associated with long-term contact lenses. They provide healthy moisture retention.
Rigid gas-permeable lenses are hard contacts that allow oxygen to reach the eye cornea. They allow adequate moisture to hydrate the eyes all day. However, the hard lenses take time to get used to and can be uncomfortable after extended wear.
Scleral lenses are rigid lenses that cover the cornea, resting on the sclera. The large diameter makes them perfect for people with dry eyes, irregular corneas, and hard-to-fit eyes. They create a liquid reservoir that keeps the cornea hydrated.
There are things you can do to prevent eye dryness when wearing contact lenses. Clean and store the lenses properly to keep them in good condition. Use preservative-free lens solution to avoid irritation, and change the lenses as recommended.
Apply rewetting drops before wearing your contacts and throughout the day as necessary. Using preservative-free eye drops will help increase eye moisture. Schedule regular eye exams to keep your eyes healthy.
You do not have to give up on contact lenses if you have dry eyes. Choosing high-quality, properly fitted special contacts will allow you to enjoy the benefits of lens wear. The ideal pair of lenses will ensure optimum hydration and maximum comfort. Scheduling a contact lens exam will help you discover the best lens option for your condition. The eye doctor will evaluate your eyes before recommending the best lens material and design.
For more on wearing contact lenses with dry eye, visit Westchester Eyes & Aesthetics at our Yonkers, New York office. Call 914-586-EYES (3937) to schedule an appointment today.